The Dark Witch
" I Will not let this stand ! " he shouted as he jumped up from his seat.
Odin ran out of the chamber, and through the hall, as if he were once again a youngster. As he threw open the doors of Hlidskjalf he whistled for Sleipnir. The great horse obeyed his master's command immediately, and flew to the steps of the hall before Odin could descend them. With a dexterity that would not be expected from someone his age Valfather leaped onto Sleipnir's back and kicked the great horse into flight.
" To Midgard as fast as you can fly Sleipnir ! " he shouted as the great horse leaped into the air.
Heimdall heard Sleipnir long before Odin's mount reached the entrance to Asgard. Without hesitation he opened the gates for the rider, who he thought, due to the horse's great speed, would be Hermod. The silent sentinel was quite surprised when he saw that it was Odin who was pushing Sleipnir to the limit, and he became concerned when Odin did not acknowledge him as he rode past his post.
Odin flew faster than the comets that were headed in the same direction of the blue planet, as he raced to Midgard. When he emerged from the Rainbow Bridge's end, at Gullfoss on the island known as Iceland, he pointed his great horse east and drove his mount as hard as he could across the great sea to Norway. Odin did not slow Sleipnir as he crossed the coastal town of Bergen, nor did he allow his horse to miss a step as they flew high over the town of Rimol.
When Odin felt he was far enough away from the townspeople of Rimol so that they would not see him, Odin dove Sleipnir for the ground, and landed about fifty yards in front of the dead army. Odin grabbed his great spear as he slid out of the saddle, and onto the ground. He walked halfway to the walking corpses and then stopped.
" What madness is this ?! " Odin screamed as he shook Gungnir at the dead warriors.
Because the dark witch had resurrected the dead for Jarl Haakon not one of the Einherjar answered their lord, nor did they stop, which angered Odin and pushed him over the edge. With all the fury of an animal he threw Gungnir at the closest draugr he saw. His great spear, true as ever, struck the walking corpse in the chest knocking him to the ground. Valfather reached out his hand and with a sickening sucking sound the great spear extracted itself from the corpse, and flew back into its master's hand.
The army of the dead took a few more steps toward Odin until they slowly came to the realization that the dead warrior was not getting up. Then all the dead eyes were trained on Odin.
" His soul has been destroyed forever ! " Odin screamed at the walking corpses.
" Anyone else care to lose their immortality ? ! " he added with even more fury in his voice.
When it became apparent that the dead were not going to continue on to Rimol he walked over to the dead warriors.
" Who leads this abomination !? " Valfather demanded to know.
No one answered, but all eyes glanced over at Jarl Haakon.
" I lead these Heathen martyrs ! " Haakon told Odin defiantly.
Odin walked over to Haakon, and placed his face mere inches away from the Jarl's face.
" WHY !! " Valfather asked in a loud scream.
Haakon did not back down to Odin.
" Why ? " Haakon repeated.
" These Christians have been forcing us to convert for years and years now ! They torture our people until they relent and accept baptism.... or until they die refusing to convert. They call us evil, and witches ! They call our Gods false, and tear down our temples ! Then they have the audacity to build their Christian churches on the same sacred ground ! " he shouted back.
Odin took a deep breath, and lowered his voice as he spoke again.
" Everything you say is true, but the world.... this world..... belongs to the strongest. What you see happening here now in this time will not hold. In what to we Gods is a mere blink of an eye, but to you will take a millennium, Heathens will rise up again and become even stronger. And your descendants..... my children..... will honor us once again ! " Odin told Jarl Haakon proudly.
" And in the meantime ? " Haakon asked.
" Until then my Einherjar will return to Valhalla, and Folkvanger. And you will be held in my great hall as my... guest ! " he explained to Haakon.
Odin then turned and walked a few feet away from Haakon. When he was a short distance away he turned and faced the dead army again. Odin thrust Gungnir into the air towards the heavens, and shouted over and over again.
" Furedmula Mehulaf, Furedmula Mehulaf, Furedmula Mehulaf....."
One by one the skin began to melt off of the bodies of the dead. Muscle and tissue liquefied and dripped into a red mush that piled up on the ground beneath them. When there was nothing left to hold the organs in place they fell through the bones, and tumbled out as well. By the time that the souls of the Einherjar had returned to Valhalla and Folkvanger all that was left were piles of bones upon the Midgardian field.
Haakon was the last to go, and before he was whisked away he heard Odin speak one last time.
" I wish I could change what the Norns have weaved, but it is beyond even my great power to do so ! "
- End Chapter 11
- Next : Chapter 12 : The Child Behind The Eyes
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2015.